Aspiring young musicians received a boost from the Cayman Arts Festival, which donated $1,000 to the string music program at George Town Primary School.
As a result of the donation, 14 students at the school are learning to play the violin.
Music teacher Jocelyn Moss said, “We are excited because this enables a specialist to come in and start the program, and we are excited for the students.”
According to Ms. Moss, students play the violin twice a week, and since the program started, each has received a gold medal at the National Children’s Festival of the Arts.
Glen Inanga, artistic director of the Cayman Arts Festival, said the festival donated the money following a series of fundraising activities in recent years.
“Based on what we have been hearing at the National Children’s Festival of the Arts auditions, string instruments like violin and cello in Cayman have not had the same level of attention in recent years as woodwind and brass instruments,” he said. “Thankfully, there has been an influx of specialist teachers for string instruments, particularly in the private music schools and they needed to do everything they could to support this recent trend.”
The Parent Teachers Association recently raised money to hire a string specialist to introduce violin playing to the students.
“We are hoping that this will grow in the months to come,” Mr. Inanga said. “I know that they would like to acquire some cellos, so this would be the next thing to direct any funds to at this school.”
The festival also recently supported private school bands and choirs from Cayman International, Cayman Prep and St. Ignatius schools.
Gene Welch, head music teacher at Cayman International School, said, “We had a wonderful event with over 150 musicians performing together. Hopefully, this is the beginning of an annual event that we can continue to expand in order to work with more young musicians on island.”
Nayil Arana, 14, a member of the Cayman National Orchestra who is studying violin at Cayman Music School, was granted a US$4,500 tuition scholarship from the Cayman Arts Festival.